Tuesday, June 04, 2002

Ok, I don't know why I do this...I guess because I like to torture myself...but I watched Politically Incorrect last night. For anybody who's never seen it, it is a show where four (sometimes qualified) guests join sarcastic and (sometimes) informed Bill Maher for a half hour of debate about politics and current affairs. Though I hadn't seen the show in a long time, it has stayed true to format, usually devolving into a (s)he-who-shouts-the-loudest competition, with the unimaginative audience going along with whoever that loud person might turn out to be. Last night, David Crosby (musician now billing himself as "political activist"), and Kennedy (former MTV V-Jay now billing herself as "author") joined a really smart female author from England and some republican strategist who was going bald WAY too early (you decide if the two descriptions of him are in any way related). Now, it's a shame that I didn't catch the English woman's name, because she was by far the most educated, most articulate, and most sensible person on the show (in my book). Anyway, there were a few debates that ensued that I wanted to comment on.

First, the topic for the majority of the show was nuclear (or, "nucular," if you're the president) power and what we can do to keep Pakistan and India from acting on their threats to use nuclear power against each other and, in the process, blowing us all to smithereens (Don't you just love that phrase? What does it MEAN?!). Anyway, at first I thought that Crosby was gonna be cool, not only because he made really good music once upon a time, but because, after all these years, he still hadn't cut his hippy hair (sound like anybody you know?). When the subject was transporting America's nuclear waste from the 130 separate sites where it is presently housed to the middle of one big mountain (which I think is in Nevada), he had the sensible answer...he and the British woman both thought it ridiculous, given the accident rate of any moving vehicles on America's roads, and considering the little matter of the mountain resting on, like, 23 different fault lines. Ok, points there Davy.

Things got horrible, however, when the British woman brought up the idea of peace, and started questioning why the hell we have to go around KILLING each other, in that silly way that women do. She brought up the 5,000 civilian casualties that we caused in Afghanistan when we decided to flex our muscles and show the Taliban who was boss. She was troubled by the fact that nobody was talking about this, and hinting at the idea that the U.S. Army was, perhaps, a bit hasty. My thought, as she was saying this, is that 5,000 is MORE than died in the World Trade Center. I mean, you can't compare numbers, really, when it comes to innocent human lives lost, but it is shocking to me that it is easy for so many Americans to just blow it off, because, hey, they killed our people FIRST. Kennedy chimed in with, "oh don't worry, those 5,000 were just orphans and old ladies." It would have been funny, if it weren't so fucking unfunny.

Of course, in response to the woman's comments, Bill Maher made fun of her and accused her of being idealistic, not to mention unrealistic and, dammit, British. To my shock and dismay, Crosby was right there with Bill. He was laughing at the lady and when Bill said, "People say that violence doesn't solve anything, while I'd say that violence solves just about EVERYthing," (with an annoying little smirk on his face), Crosby joined in with, "Yeah, and there is a good kind of violence, which is the kind that we use." Yeah, I'm sure that's not EXACTLY what those terrorists were thinking when they flew planes into buildings in the name of their faith. Can't they SEE that it's all violence, no matter what side of the line you're born on and what religion you practice and what you look like and blah blah blah??!!!

At one point, I just got really, really mad. I thought...men (and I am referring to men, specifically) just keep dreaming up new and more efficient ways of killing each other, and WHY???!!! Now we not only have our own "enemies" to worry about, but we have to worry about Pakistan and India and their conflicts and the fact that they both have absolutely NO problem dropping the first bomb/launching the first missile, anything you can imagine. But you know what, as mad as I got, I didn't want to go out and KILL anybody. I'm going to sound like a male-basher, but that's not it...goodness knows I love men. I'm not saying that all men are violent and want to solve problems by killing people. But honestly, how often to women go around harming each other, relatively? And would we ever dream of developing the most deadly weapons that human beings are capable of creating, in order to ensure our place at the head of the proverbial table? I don't think so. So what I say to all you weapon-developing men out there is...you got us into this, now you get us out. Some advice might be needed from the women's camp, so I'm offering this...why don't you try TALKING to each other. I know you'll say I'm also idealistic. And I am.

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